Lack of Water Act encouraging river encroachment

Published On: May 17, 2018 05:40 PM NPT

LALITPUR, May 17: River-induced disasters are causing a big loss of lives and property in the country every year but there is no Water Act in place to regulate the human encroachment on rivers and water bodies. 

Deputy Director General at the Water Induced Disaster Control Department, Pradip Thapa said it is not clear regarding at which distance from the river a human settlement should be constructed due to the lack of Water Act. 

He said although the Department prepared a draft act and forwarded it to the Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation last year, it has not yet seen the light of the day. He said the draft act may be making rounds at the Finance Ministry, Law Ministry and the Home Ministry. 

Thapa added that if the Act was enacted, it would be easier to regulate the human activities and settlements near the rivers, which would help reduce the human and property loss due to disasters. "Like the provision that stipulates houses and structures can be constructed only at a stipulated distance from the road and highways, there would be a provision determining the distance where houses and structures can be constructed from the river, if the Water Act is enacted," he added. 

Deputy Director General Thapa said bringing the Act would make the works of the Department and the local bodies easier. 

Human encroachment is increasing close to rivers and their banks due to the lack of the Water Act. RSS

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